Uploaded 22/09/2015 01:26

 In a modern anthro world, people would make the most of their physical abilities. Water breathing species would take underwater work. Species built for cold would work in freezers for food companies. Flying species would be in high demand. Why spend $100+ an hour for a aircraft plus pilot costs for small aerial tasks when you can hire a flying anthro for $20 an hour plus food. All sorts of things we don't see done in our would would be commonplace there.

Of course not all flying species are equal. Some are built for high performance flying with limited endurance. other are built for long endurance, but more limited flight performance. There are yet more features that some species have or lack that employers may find advantageous or disadvantages.

Dragons like Hazard have mediocre flight performance with average rate of climb, average cruising and top speed, with somewhat below average maneuverability. What they do have is very long endurance, able to spend days at a time in their air, provided they have the energy stores to do so. As some fire-breathing species do, Hazard has the ability to metabolize hydrocarbon fuels. This trait was unremarkable in pre-modern times, but today it means that species with this ability can consume readily available fuels like gasoline, diesel, or kerosene should they need a quick source of calories.

Today, Hazard is working for one of the cell phone providers. Anyone who has been to a large event knows that the cellular network can be sub par, be it from poor signal to simply being overloaded. Thankfully, cellular technology is now compact enough that a flying species can be fitted with a cellular repeater and serve as a temporary cell tower. He carries the main electronics box on his back. Sticking up from this box are the cellular antennas as well as a wind generator to provide power. On his chest is the back-haul antenna that relays the signals to the station on the ground.

All this weight has the obvious effect of drastically reducing the endurance of the one carrying it, in addition to making take-off and landings difficult. Landing to refuel means taking the repeater offline, interrupting service.

The solution to all of this is mid-air refueling. Another flying anthro simply flies up to Hazard carrying a can of fuel and lowers it to him in a rope. His ability to consume hydrocarbon fuels (Kerosene is his favorite) and digest it quickly, allows him to stay aloft for as long as is needed, although realistically never for more than a day at a time.

Here we see Hazard lining up with his afternoon snack. He swings his tail to one side and dips a wing to turn and line up. The one delivering the fuel simply flies in a regular circular pattern of the area of operation, the can hanging down below. Hazard then simply files to it and takes hold. Gripping the "straw" on the bottom of the tank in his mouth, he bites down on the valve. Being a carnivore built to take large bites, he drains the tank inside of 30 seconds. Three tugs on the rope signals that the delivery is complete and the two separate in opposite directions. Hazard licks the inside of his mouth, savoring both the taste and pleasant feeling of a full stomach. He sets himself back on the flight pattern he needs to hold and then takes in the view of the event below him.

This practice is a surprisingly low-cost way to boost the quality of wireless service where it is needed, when it is needed. What other uses would an anthro world find for its citizens abilities?

(Commission for, and description by Northern-Crosshair!)

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